Yesterday, while celebrating the holidays at a Christmas lunch here in town, my colleagues and I were talking about my career choice. New to the group, they asked common questions about massage and I thought I’d also address them here. Perhaps you were wondering the answers to these as well.
How long is a typical massage? In my practice, I do almost as many 90-minute massages as I do 60-minute massages. To me, a 90 minute is ideal because it allows me to address any issues they need me to help with, plus give them the benefit of having an all over massage. Have you ever had a 60-minute massage and wished you had more time? That’s exactly why a 90 minute is a great length of time. All touch can be beneficial, so even a 15-minute massage has its advantages. It’s totally up to you and your therapist to decide what’s best for you.
Don’t your arms get tired? Look at my arms and hands as tools for the massage. I know it seems like I’m using them constantly, but the bulk of my energy is coming from my core. There’s balance involved, as well as correct posture and being cognizant of my stance and where my position is in relation to my client on the table. In the past four years of massage, my arms and hands have never hurt.
Does it bother you to massage hairy people? First of all, most women apologize for not shaving their legs before they come to their session. Do you know when I notice it? When they mention they forgot to shave their legs. It means much more to you than it does to me, after all, guys generally don’t shave their legs and I don’t mentally note how hairy their legs are. Therefore, shave your legs if you’d like, it doesn’t make any difference to me or any other massage therapist.
Does it bother you to massage hairy people? Along with my answer above, no, it doesn’t. Every single body is different. Put that into perspective. No other person on this planet has the exact same body makeup as you, or me! So differences are expected, and to be celebrated! It doesn’t matter to me how hairy or non-hairy you are. I’m just happy that you are being proactive about your health in seeking massage.
What about feet? People cringe at feet for some reason. I’m not sure why exactly, but no, feet don’t bother me. I look at the purpose of our feet. They carry us throughout our entire lives. When our feet don’t feel good, then chances are we aren’t going to feel good. Our feet are strong; they literally carry us throughout the journey of life. Therefore, even if they don’t look perfect or haven’t been taken care of as perhaps they’ve needed, your feet have a story and are an important part of your life. Feet can be celebrated as well!
One of the most important aspects of massage, besides touch, is the ability to share private things with your therapist and to be listened to. My clients know that when they enter my space, they can share things with me that they may never share with their best friends, spouse or families. In the massage room, there is safety and confidentiality. Sometimes, even more than the human touch, that’s all that my client might need: a safe place to share things without fear of judgement or shame.
Feel free to continue asking these questions to your massage therapist. We are happy to explain and let you know truthfully what goes on and how we feel about our career choices. It might be what makes you decide that a massage is right for you!